A DAY after an FIR was filed against 11 members of a housing society in Vasai for allegedly denying a Muslim man an opportunity to buy a flat in the building, the society has decided to give its no-objection letter to the sale of flat to him. The decision to allow the flat to be sold to whoever the flat owner chose was taken in a meeting at Happy Jivan society in Vasai West Sunday morning.
Complainant Vikar Ahmed Khan had been sold a flat on the first floor of the building by owner Kantaben Patel and her son Jignesh. When a no-objection certificate was sought by the Patels from the society, its office-bearers had allegedly given a letter that said it should not be sold to a Muslim man.
Happy Jivan Cooperative Housing Society is an over three decades old building, with 15 houses and other commercial establishments.
“We have no problem with the flat being sold to whoever the owner wants to sell it to. We had anyway asked the flat owner to wait till Sunday when the meeting was scheduled to take place for a decision to be taken but the complaint was filed before that,” said Jeetendra Jain, the secretary of the building, who has been named in the FIR lodged at the Manikpur police station.
Society members who did not wish to be named said they had only requested Patel that the flat be sold to someone from “within the community”.
“All the flat owners on the first floor where the house is up for sale are from the Gujarati community. It was a request to sell it to someone from the same community. The NOC was denied because there were dues pending to the society. The society asked him to clear the dues before the NOC is granted,” said a member.
Another member said though only the office-bearers were present at the time when the decision was taken to not allow the flat to be sold to Khan, a letter was sent to all flat owners for their signatures. “Some members refused to sign it since they did not agree to what was written,” said another member. Currently, the building has two Muslim members.
The Manikpur police, which filed the complaint late Saturday, perused the letter to find out who were the signatories. The police said the signatures of the 11 members had their flat numbers against them through which they could be recognised.
“We have already recorded the statements of the complainant and other witnesses, including the flat owner. We summoned the members to verify who had signed the letter and whether they were party to the decision,” said senior inspector Ashok Patil, Manikpur police station.
“So far, we have found that when the flat owner approached the society members, they requested that the flat be sold to someone from within the community residing on the first floor. Patel had told them that he would be fine with it and that they should find him a buyer. While some of the members found a buyer, the complainant (Khan) was giving him a better price for the flat so he decided to sell it to him,” said a senior officer.
He added that Patel had already taken token money from Khan and had signed an agreement with him.
“We have no issues with anyone in the building. In the past as well, there has never been an argument even on the issue of food habits or religious practices in the building since its inception,” said a member who did not wish to be named.
The police said they would question each member to determine their roles and deciding the further course of action.